In the end we all knew it would happen.
Our worst fears realised, Tony Pulis would return and take all three points away with him.
He did what Tony Pulis does best, he gives the team organisation, discipline and belief.
When he went to bed on Friday he must have dreamt of an early goal to allow his team to show our team how they defend a one nil lead.
A screamer from Craig Gardner secured all three points and no one could say we played well enough for the outcome to be any different
The staff say Jason Puncheon slipped just as the corner was being taken, it was perfect for James Morrison to head it firmly past Julian Speroni in the second minute.
Tony has been playing several players out of position, I was quite looking forward to seeing Yannick and Wilfried run at Dawson and Brunt in the full back positions, the reality was that neither really got the space to showcase their speed and skill. James Morrison and Claudio Jakob provided a shield in front of their full backs, the few times Wilfried got past they had numbers in the penalty area to thwart our attacks. Frustration was a word being used at half time in the boardroom.
Alan made two changes at half time, he matched WBA’s system by going to a 4-4-2, Dwight Gayle came on for the skipper Mile Jedinak and Pape Souare replaced Joe Ledley, who played at left back in an experimental role, although he’s played there last season, it’s the first time this season he’s been asked to play that role. I thought Pape and Yannick showed good promise down the left in the second half, they exchanged passes and positions quite frequently with Pape providing several good crosses, one of which Dwight couldn't keep down as his header rose over the bar.
Pulis knows our team so well, that’s why Alan tried something different by playing Punch as a deep lying midfielder and pushed Mile further forward to run and assist Glenn Murray, the fact is it didn't work, conceding early gave Albion something to hang on to. Playing as Tony's sides do nice and compact, we found it difficult to penetrate there rear guard, I felt if we got one goal we would have got the second.
I'm a firm believer in everything happens in life for a reason, the club are in a good place right now, I think everyone can see we are making progress on and off the field, Tony left and at the time it was annoying and frustrating, but he and we have moved on, he got the reception he deserved, he saved us last season, the players wanted to win the match and remain focused on finishing as high as they possibly can.
Stats say we enjoyed 64% possession had more shots, more passes, more dribbles, the facts say we lost 2-0 at home. Let's hope the lads take out their frustration against Hull City next week.
To surpass last season’s tally of 45 points would be cause for a celebration, I’m confident we can achieve it. Keep believing people, this last few seasons are more than could have imagined when the fans marched into the City and protested in front of the bank to help us out.